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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

USUL AL-FIQH: A Brief Essay Concerning Usool ul-Fiqh 1

رسالة لطيفة في أصول الفقه للشيخ / عبد الرحمن بن ناصر السعدي رحمه الله
Risaalah Lateefah Jaami’ah fee Usool il-Fiqh il-Muhimmah
(A Brief Essay Concerning Usool ul-Fiqh)
by Shaykh 'Abdur-Rahmân ibn Nâsir as-Sa'dî(d. 1383 AH / n/a CE)

All praises due to Allaah. We praise Him for what He possess from His Beautiful Names and Lofty and Perfect Attributes; and for His Judgement and Decree which encompasses everything in existence; and for His Divinely Prescribed Laws which encompass every field of legislation; and His Judgement concerning rewards for the doers of good, and punishments for the criminals.

I testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah alone, who has no partner in His Names. Attributes or Rulings. And I testify that Muhammad is His Slave and Messenger; who clarified the wisdoms and the rulings, made clear the halaal (lawful) and the haraam (prohibited), and established the fundamentals and expounded upon them - until the Religion was completed and establsihed firmly. O Allaah send blessings and peace upon Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and those that follow them, particularly the Scholars.

To proceed:
This is a brief essay concerning usool ul-fiqh (fundamentals of jurisprudence), uncomplicated in wording, clear in meaning, and useful in learning its rulings for whosoever contemplates its meanings. We ask Allaah that He benefits both its compiler and its reader. Indeed He is the Most Generous.

Chapter 1

Usool ul-Fiqh: is the science concerning the comprehensive evidences of fiqh. Since fiqh consist of either [i] masaa‘il (issues) concerning which the ruling by one of the five rulings is sought, or [ii] it is the dalaa‘il (evidences) employed in extracting and determining these masaa‘il (issues). So fiqh is actualy knowledge of the masaa‘il (issues) and the dalaa‘il (evidences).

These dalaa‘il (evidences) are of two types:-
* Comprehensive evidences that encompass every ruling - from the beginning to the end of fiqh - of a single kind; such as our saying: “al-amr lil-wujoob (a command is indicative of an obligation).” Or: “an-nahee lit-tahreem (a forbiddance is indicative of a prohibition).” And other similar evidences. So these are usool ul-fiqh.
* Detailed evidences that are to be understood in the light of the comprehensive evidences. So when such is completed, then the ahkaam (rulings) can be resolved.

Thus, the ahkaam (rulings) are in need of their detailed evidences, and the detailed evidences are themselves in need of comprehensive evidences. So by this, we recognise the need and the necessity of knowing usool ul-fiqh, and that it aids in the understanding of fiqh itself, and that it is the foundations for consideration and making ijtihaad in the ahkaam (rulings).

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